Trains were here first, live with it

The city of White Rock actually leases land from the railway for the parking lot and the promenade that parallels the railway.

I read with interest letter writer Robert Melynchuk’s rant (March 21) about the BNSF “rumbling” through White Rock.

A little history is in order. Back in 1901, the monopoly clause imposed by the federal government in 1880 forbidding competing railways from building to the south or southwest of the CPR line, ended.

This opened the door for competing railways to build across the Fraser River and through Surrey.  In 1907, the Great Northern (now BNSF) relocated its line through Surrey (now White Rock) from Cloverdale to connect with the new bridge at New Westminister. They have been there ever since. The city of White Rock actually leases land from the railway for the parking lot and the promenade that parallels the railway.

We are lucky that the railway is gracious enough to allow pedestrians so close to their tracks. I find it hard to believe that 300 trains would roll through there a week. Currently it is 12-15 trains a day. It would be almost impossible to route 300 trains a week on a single track line.

Many have proposed relocating the tracks but that is not BNSF’s responsibility. They were there long before any of us were even born. The fact that the city has grown and expanded makes no difference. People knew when they moved there that it was an active railway and with it goes noise, exhaust, and the rumble.

BNSF have said they have no intention of moving the tracks and why should they? There is no other level route to move them to and the cost would be in the hundreds of millions.

I can understand the concerns of residents but whining and complaining about it is not likely to change the status quo anytime soon.

Just learn to live with it.

 

Kevin Buffel

Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader